Pennsylvania law provides that "[n]o county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth." 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6120(a). Section 6120(a) has been interpreted to preempt local ordinances banning assault weapons. In Ortiz v. Commonwealth,
681 A.2d 152, 155 (Pa. 1996), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania struck down local assault weapon bans in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh under what is now subsection 6120(a) because the court found that the legislature had "denied all municipalities the power to regulate the ownership…transfer or possession of firearms." The court stated that the Pennsylvania Constitution "requires that home rule municipalities…not perform any power denied by" the legislature. Id.
The court also noted that firearm regulation is "a matter of concern in all of Pennsylvania," and the legislature "is the proper forum for the imposition of such regulation." Id.